Listen to a dharma talk I gave at Marin Sangha on November 27, 2016. In these turbulent times it is important to understand how effective social action and the Buddhist practices of wise speech, embodied awareness and right action complement one another. Virtuous conduct, sīla, depends upon a Buddhist practitioner’s ability to comprehend and enact right view: impermanence, not-self and the causes of suffering and non-suffering. This talk clarifies how to hold the precepts while boldly, fearlessly engaging in social action.
The schedule of talks (Brussels Timezone) for Saturday and Sunday is:
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 2016 Session 3: Perspectives from spiritual and religious traditions Time: 9:30-11:30am
Religious and spiritual institutions are influential forces that promote peace and compassion and are concerned with the cultivation of an ethical existence. Yet at the same time they wield vast power that has often been used for divisive and destructive purposes and are profoundly implicated in the economics and government of societies, past and present. How can the world’s religions transform themselves and channel their immense power in order to remain viable agents of positive change?Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. (moderator); Pauline Tangiora, J.P., Q.S.O., Q.S.M.; Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D.; Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp; Brother Thierry-Marie Courau, o.p.; Alaa Murabit, M.D.
Session 4: Perspectives from economics and society Time: 1:00-3:00pm
Politics and economics are the quintessential arenas for the expression of power in the social realm. Since political-economic reasoning dominates our social and cultural lives how can motivations belonging to the “care constellation” be introduced into economic thinking and therefore into the societal structures that regulate human relations? Indeed, there are other models and behaviors that can create equilibrium between these elements that determine so much of our daily existence.
Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Dr Uwe Jean Heuser (moderator); Prof. Dennis James Snower, Ph.D.; Prof. Sir Paul Collier; Dr Vandana Shiva; Theo Sowa; Jody Williams
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th, 2016 Session 5: Personal commitment and global responsibility Time: 9:30-11:30am
The issue of “empowerment” as a component of personal and collective engagement, and the concept of care as an expression of responsibility for our planet and its civilizations in times of strife, forced migration and homelessness, and distress at the individual and societal levels, will provide the focus for our final session. Power and care are two primary elements that may not, finally, be opposed but rather coexist as a condition of dynamic and constructive equilibrium.
Speakers: H.H. the Dalai Lama; Thupten Jinpa, Ph.D. (interpreter); Theo Sowa (moderator); Olafur Eliasson; Dr Scilla Elworthy; Frédéric Laloux; Prof. Dr Tania Singer
Here is the link to an excellent dharma talk on climate change given by Jennifer Dungan, a longtime NASA Ames scientist/researcher on climate change. http://imsb.dharmaseed.org/teacher/573/talk/36155/
Her description of the talk is, “We are facing global warming and drastic global climate change. The resulting disruption in the seasonal patterns and the extreme weather events pose threats to all living beings. Jennifer Dungan explores how the concept of non-harming, right action, Brahma Vihara, and the three marks of existence can help a world in which activities that involve fossil fuel perpetuate or worsen climate disruption.”
Non-delusion and Undeluded Mind This second talk covers the Buddhist psychological description of how non-delusion manifests in human perception and practical steps for cultivating non-delusion in daily life.
Stephen Batchelor discusses a secular dharma based upon his interpretation of the historical Buddha’s teachings found in the Pāli Canon. I think he does a fantastic job of condensing the main topics more deeply expounded upon in his terrific new book, After Buddhism, which I highly recommend. Stephen does have some very thoughtful comments about the conflictual issues of secular mindfulness and corporate mindfulness in the Q&A found toward the end.
I offer this original sound/artwork as a gift to a world suffering with greed, hatred, and great confusion. This recording features the Eight Verses of Thought Transformation, a profound Tibetan Buddhist teaching by Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054–1123).
The Eight Verses provides a gateway into the awakened mind of a Bodhisattva by beautifully illustrating the inseparability of mind and heart in a very challenging and thoughtful manner. The text is a practical manual for developing the Pāramīs/Pāramitās: generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, enthusiasm, patience, truthfulness, determination, lovingkindness, equanimity/compassion.
Seating oneself firmly in the sacredness of mind/heart allows full extension of the Bodhisattvic commitment to develop Bodhicitta; the altruistic intention to attain enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. May this practice liberate all beings from the ocean of samsara.